Idaho Minimum Wage Hearing Monday

If you can make it, show up to the Capitol tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. to show your support for raising the minimum wage in Idaho. Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, will introduce the bill.

Idaho is 50th in the nation in family wages and 1st in the percentage of minimum wage jobs. Let the GOP politicians who control the Legislature know that they gave wealthy contributors and friends plenty of breaks. Now, it’s time to give families a raise.

Below is a message from United Action for Idaho:

MINIMUM WAGE BILL- MONDAY!

The Minimum Wage RS is scheduled for a Print Hearing this coming Monday, February 10th at 8am, in the Lincoln Auditorium in the Senate West Wing (WW02) of the State Capitol.

This bill is important, because today Idaho ranks worst in the nation for average annual wage, per-capita income and wage increases, and highest in the country for the number of minimum-wage workers per-capita. At an increasing rate, young people are leaving the state for neighboring states that provide higher wages, at the same time a growing number of seniors are entering the state which is creating a decline in Idaho’s workforce.

Neighboring States Minimum Wage:

Oregon’s minimum wage is $9.10 for hourly and tipped workers.
California’s wage will increase from 8.00 for both hourly and tipped workers to $9.00 in July 2014, then increase to $10 by January 2016
Washington’s wage is 9.32 both hourly and tipped workers, and $7.81 for training periods.
Nevada’s wage is 8.25 both hourly and and tipped workers.
Utah remains at 7.25

Idaho’s Minimum Wage
Idaho’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, and $3.35 for tipped workers. The minimum wage in Idaho is about half the amount that it takes to meet the basic needs of one adult in Idaho. In fact, a growing number of people have to work almost two full-time jobs at minimum wage just to meet his or her own basic needs. No matter where you stand politically, you can recognize that such trends aren’t sustainable for our economy.

The proposed bill would increase the hourly wage to $9.75 split into a two year incremental increases of $1.25 per year, which would be implemented by July 1, 2015 and then tied to the CPI (Inflation) thereafter.
Tipped wage would increase from $3.30 to $3.80 and then to $4.25 by July 2015 and then tied to the CPI the CPI in 2016.

Training wages apply to persons 18 and over, and raise from $4.25 to $4.70, and to $5.35 by 2015 and reduced the 90 day training period to 30 days.-

At this Critical Moment – We Need Your Cooperation Moving Forward

We want to stress how important it is to bear witness to this historic and long over due address of our concerns, and show that Idahoans care deeply about this issue. But, we also realize that real change depends on how we approach this moment. We urge you to turn out, and exemplify a respectful and a thankful decorum. Our goal is to win for workers and their families and this is a critical moment that requires bipartisan support moving forward. We know this is likely to be a multi-year effort, but it’s critical to the welfare of all Idahoans that lawmakers and the public be engaged in this issue.

Additionally, we encourage you to call and write your representatives, and ALL members of the committee, and simply ask that you begin by offering your thanks for allowing this to be a part of the 2014 Legislative session, for hearing our concerns, and allowing us the opportunity to elevate an issue that is so important to the working people of Idaho, and their families.

This is the beginning, and we want to open up the dialog, engage our representatives, and give Idahoans the raise they so desperately deserve. The first step in getting there us there is to create a climate of appreciation, kindness, and tolerance as we continue to work to get us all there together. The coalition working on this has been working hard to get us here; United Vision for Idaho, United Action for Idaho, the AFL-Cio of Idaho, The Idaho Human Rights Education Center, The Idaho Public Employees Association, The Idaho Jobs Coalition, The Southeast Idaho and Western Oregon Building Trades Council, Idaho Community Action Network, Catholic Charities of Idaho, The Idaho Education Association, and The Idaho Building & Construction Trades Council. The legislation is being sponsored by Senator Michelle Stennett and co-sponsored by Senators, Cherie Buckner-Webb and Elliot Werk. They, and all members of the committee deserve high praise for addressing this issue and giving it the attention is deserves. BUT, now we need your to help ensure that we can continue generating positive momentum moving forward. Please show your support and attend Monday’s print hearing and signal that by your presence you know it is time to raise up Idaho!

Senate State Affairs Committee

Senator Curt McKenzie (R) – Chair
District 13, Nampa

Senator Bart Davis (R)
District 33, Idaho Falls

Senator Russell Fulcher (R)
District 22, Meridian

Senator Brent Hill (R)
District 34, Rexburg

Senator Chuck Winder (R)
District 20, Boise

Senator Patti Anne Lodge (R)
District 11, Huston

Senator Jeff Siddoway (R)
District 35, Terreton

Senator Michelle Stennett (D)
District 26, Ketchum

Senator Elliot Werk (D)
District 17, Boise
http://legislature.idaho.gov/about/contactbycommittee.cfm

A Few Things to Consider:

11.8 million workers are directly affected by the most recent minimum wage. Three-quarters of these workers are adults and 40% of the larger group are the sole providers for their families

A “typical” minimum wage worker (teenagers) account for only 7% of the total minimum wage workforce. About two-thirds of minimum wage workers are over 20 years old; about two-thirds are women and about two-thirds do not live with their parents. The report confirms that 40% of them are the sole source of income in their households

Most minimum wage workers fall between the ages of 25-38 years of age.

Paying a Living Wage is good for the local economy because small local businesses rely on local dollars. More money for city dwellers will mean more customers for municipal businesses. Minimum wage increases lead directly to an infusion of dollars into the local economy.

57% of the gains from increased wages go to working families in the bottom 40% of the income scale.

Historically, Increases have not led to job loss

Wages are just one of many factors that make up the cost of an item. Factors such as manufacturing, transportation, equipment, rent, advertising, business location, income demographics of the community, employee recruitment and training, expenses all add together with wages to create the cost make-up of an item. Studies have shown that just because wages rise, there is not and does not have to be a corresponding increase in prices, it is more a question of what the market will bear, or what the consumer will tolerate.

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